OASIS technical committee completes RELAX NG, lightweight XML language validation specification

Boston  December 4, 2001  OASIS, the XML interoperability consortium, released RELAX NG 1.0 as a Committee Specification for validating XML-based languages. RELAX NG offers a complimentary alternative to the W3C XML Schema Recommendation, providing an option for developers who value ease-of-use and a middle ground for those adopting multiple schema languages. In support of the new specification, the OASIS technical committee also released the RELAX NG tutorial and RELAX NG DTD compatibility.

"The key to RELAX NG's simplicity lies in the fact that it does not have any mechanisms specific to particular XML applications. Instead, RELAX NG concentrates on the syntax of XML documents. This opens RELAX NG to as wide a variety of applications as XML itself," explained James Clark, chair of the OASIS RELAX NG Technical Committee. Clark, who has contributed to a wide body of open source software including Linux and XML, is regarded as one of the most prolific developers in the field of structured information standards.

"RELAX NG is an outstanding example of how convergence can benefit and accelerate the development of standards," said Karl Best, director of technical operations for OASIS. "RELAX NG combines what were once two overlapping specifications--TREX (Tree Regular Expressions for XML) and RELAX (REgular LAnguage description for XML). By bringing these two efforts together, OASIS succeeded in avoiding duplication, confusion and fragmentation. The consolidation resulted in a better use of resources and a faster delivery time for RELAX NG."

Clark agreed, "I am very pleased with how the OASIS standards process has worked. The technical committee has completed the specification in a timely way; it has produced a high-quality specification which substantially improves on the languages that were the basis for RELAX NG (TREX and RELAX) without being more complicated."

Publication of XML 1.0 and RELAX NG as JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) is under consideration, and INSTAC plans to prepare the draft.